Private development transformed into affordable housing

Private development transformed into affordable housing

Bramble Estates secures North London site for shared ownership properties.

Bramble Estates has helped transform a site in North London originally planned for private housing targeted at commuters into 56 affordable homes for local people.

Bramble Estates worked with land agents Aston Rose to secure the Kingswood Nurseries site in Enfield for Paradigm Housing Group.

The brownfield site off Bullsmoor Lane, near the M25, had previously gained planning consent for a private development set to contain just eight affordable housing units.

However, with the development failing to move forwards, Aston Rose brought the site to Bramble Estates director Brian Culank’s attention. Working together Bramble Estates and Aston Rose were able to secure a purchase of the site for Paradigm.

Paradigm and Bramble Estates will use Howarth Contractors (the Contracting division of Howarth Homes) to deliver a £15 million development of five town houses, nine houses and 42 flats. When built in 2020, all but eight of the properties will be made available on a part-rent, part-purchase basis. The remaining eight flats will be offered on an affordable rent basis.

Andrew Main, Executive Director of Business Development at Paradigm Housing Group, said: “We are delighted to be able to use this site to help people get a foot on the property ladder.”

Challenging deal

The Kingswood Nurseries site is currently home to a mixture of car parks, retail and light industrial units.

The demolition and condition of the site meant it was even more challenging to meet the site vendor’s tight deadline and complete the transaction in a matter of weeks. This was achieved by working together closely with Paradigm and Howarth, said Bramble Estates director Brian Culank.

“This was a particularly difficult transaction,” said Culank.

“The vendors pushed for a quick sale, requiring a lot of effort to complete the deal on time and resolve issues including vacant possession of existing properties and ground conditions.”

Howarth Managing Director Dale Wagstaff added: “With significant experience of projects in the residential sector, we are pleased to be working again with Paradigm and look forward to delivering another much needed quality development of mixed tenure homes for the local area.”

Kingswood Nurseries in numbers

  • 56 new residential units in two blocks:
  • Block 1 – five 4-bedroom town houses with integral garages; seven 2-bedroom and two 3-bedroom houses with roof terraces
  • Block 2 – 21 1-bedroom, 10 2-bedroom and 11 3-bedroom self-contained apartments.
  • 67 car parking spaces, cycle and bins stores, new access roads and associated landscaping.

Aston Rose head of development Duncan Wilson said: “The Kingswood Nurseries acquisition was particularly exciting as we faced multiple challenges.

“However, working closely with Bramble Estates and Howarth, together with a number of the extremely knowledgeable in-house teams at Aston Rose, meant we were able to provide innovative solutions as required.”

Shazia Bashir, of law firm TLT, advised Bramble Estates on the land acquisition and subsequent agreement with Paradigm, with SDLT advice provided by Nathan Williams.

On trend

Bramble Estates director Brian Culank said that the Kingswood Nurseries transaction once again showed the current trend for housing associations – especially those in the competitive London and South East market – to act more commercially than they have done in the past.

“Housing associations have begun to realise that they need to move quickly to secure land in this ultra-competitive market,” said Culank.

“This means adopting a commercial attitude which includes looking at sites with more challenging circumstances, such as demolition and remediation.”

  • This deal follows Bramble Estates completion of a deal to develop affordable housing at the Sandbanks site in West London, which at just three weeks represents the company’s fastest-ever deal.
  • If you have a site ready for development, or are a housing association looking to secure a development site, contact Bramble Estates today on 01582 766 000 or email Daniel Culank.

Who’s who

  • Bramble Estates acted as developer of the Kingswood Nurseries site.
  • The affordable housing development is being delivered by and will be operated by Paradigm.
  • The contractor building the scheme is Howarth Contractors (the Contracting division of Howarth Homes).
  • The land agent for the scheme was Aston Rose Chartered Surveyors.
  • Law firm TLT advised Bramble Estates on the land acquisition and subsequent agreement with Paradigm.